Sony will launch its long awaited Playstation 3 console in New Zealand on March 23, under a general release that will include Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.
Sony will only bring the 60 GB version of the console to New Zealand, with a possible later release of the cheaper 20 GB version.
The pricing of the game console is set at NZ$1200, compared to the American price of approximately NZ$880. Warwick Light, general manager for sales and marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment in New Zealand says the price is not high compared with earlier models.
“The Playstation 2, when it first came out, was priced at around $1000. It had DVD technology, which was relatively new at the time, and the PS3 has Blu-Ray, which is completely new technology.”
Sony faced increasing criticism during the American and Japanese launch of the product, with supply severely lower than the demand. Light says supply should be able to meet demand in New Zealand after the launch.
“We can never really be sure if we have enough, but we have possibly enough stock to meet demand at launch. If consumers want to make sure they are not missing out the smart thing to do is to put a deposit down.”
“Pre-sales are very important to us,” says Light. “It covers about 75 percent of the first weeks’ sales. Most retailers already have good pre-sale programmes and some incentives.”
The Playstation 2 outsold newer consoles like Microsoft’s Xbox360 and the Nintendo Wii before Christmas last year, and Light says he thinks the company’s new console will surpass the older unit in numbers.
“I think the PS3 will come close to the success of the Playstation 2 when it launches. The 20GB is still on hold and we are waiting to judge the demand of the 60GB version to see whether we will take it in.”